Category Archives: Canberra Region

Canberra Region

Lunch at Courgette

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Last Friday Aussie Wine Guy and his associates dined at one of Canberra’s prestige restaurants, Courgette, which is located on Marcus Clarke street in the city, provides a central and accessible location.  The establishment is well appointed with a relaxed but refined ambiance.

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Service was prompt and courteous, providing us with a superlative menu of options for our lunch.  The restaurant also has quite a formidable wine menu, although as a party on the whole we decided to leave the wine paring to our capable hosts.

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AWG decided, after much agonizing, on an entree of chicken liver parfait, brioche, quince onion jam, sultanas and winter flowers.  This was paired rather boldly with a Sauternes style Darlington Point botrytis Semillon, lusciously thick, viscous and sweet with just the right mix to compliment the salty, savoury tones of the parfait – an inspired paring which was the envy of the table.

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For the main, AWG went with Dutton park confit duck leg, red cabbage, parsnip puree, roasted chestnuts finished with a port and thyme glaze.  This was paired with an unsurprisingly refined French Grenache, which featured a slightly spicy aftertaste well paired to the delicious flesh of the duck leg; the port and thyme glaze providing the smooth flavour bite after bite.

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To finish up, AWG’s dessert selection was a serving of baked chocolate mousse, banana fritters, honeycomb with salty nutty ice cream.  This was paired with a tasty Italian dessert wine, consisting of the more unusual Carmenere and Oseleta grapes.  It proved to be an excellent companion to the sweet mousse and coolness of salty ice cream.

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The enjoyable lunch was the highlight of the week, no contest,  Canberra is blessed with an array of fine dining options, and Courgette proves to be a top competitor in the market.  The staff were exceptionally helpful and welcoming, the menu was simply delectable and the depth of the wine range very impressive.

One day, Aussie Wine Guy would love to return and place an order for a bottle of Chateau Petrus, which AWG understands is a feature of Courgette’s very well appointed and comprehensive cellar.

Lastly a big thanks to Mike H for taking the lead on booking a superlative lunchtime option.

Winter Wine Tasting Notes 2014

Tatler

2011 Tatler Archie’s Paddock Shiraz, Hunter Valley, NSW

This wine was collected on a trip to the Hunter in 2012 and laid down at home until recently opened for dinner with the mother in law.  A good ruby coloured wine that had a very pleasant nose of berries and a fine touch of tannins. Having been aged for 15 months in French and American oak barrels, 

I expected the wine might be a little too strong for the ladies.  However, we were all pleasantly surprised by its smooth taste and gentle lingering on the palate.  Overall, this was a very pleasing wine which went well with a variety of dishes and was enjoyed by everyone. It should cellar well for another 5 years or so.

Vasse Felix

2008 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, WA

This wine was opened in April 2015, having been cellared in my wine fridge for 5 years.  A quite dark red colour in the glass, it had a slightly earthy taste which probably resulted from its 18 months maturation in French oak barrels. 

This also gave the wine a pleasing complexity with the strong berry and olive flavours and tannins remaining on the palate for some time.  I am inclined to consume this vintage now as I am not certain that it will cellar much longer.

Saltram

2010 Saltram Mamre Brook Barossa Shiraz, Barossa Valley SA

Saltram shiraz has been one of my favourites over the years and was one of the first full bodied reds that I introduced by wife to may years ago.  This vintage did not disappoint either of us and we enjoyed it at a dinner of roast lamb. 

The deep red colour and full body of the wine is complimented by the dark berries and olives nose and fine tannins which reflect the aging in oak for 18 months.  Probably a more full bodied and stronger wine than I would normally serve to my female dinners but it was still a hit with them. It will probably cellar well for a few more years.

Barton Estate

2006 Barton Estate Georgia Shiraz, Canberra Region, ACT/NSW

Canberra’s cool region wines a winning a great deal of respect both in Australia and overseas. This wine is a good example of the region, with a good dark red colour and full bodied structure. 

It has peppery spice overtones and a hint of blackcurrants but does not overwhelm the palate with strong tannins.  Opened nearly 9 years after bottling and kept in a wine fridge most of the time, I feel it is at its peak now.

Taylors

2005 Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon, Claire Valley, SA

Taylors generally produce wines of good quality at reasonable prices and wines that suit all occasions and tastes. This wine is one of those reliable wines that, aged in French oak, deliver full fruit flavours with interesting undertones of berries and spice.

A good ruby colour and light tannins complete a wine suitable for any meal. This bottle seemed to have cellared well enough but I would not leave it any longer.